In pop culture, prenuptial agreements generally have a negative reputation and are most commonly associated with wealthy men or celebrities. However, in reality, prenups safeguard your wealth in the event of a divorce. I recommend everyone with significant assets consider a prenup before walking down the aisle to ensure they’re entitled to retain the assets that they brought into the marriage.
What Do Prenups Cover?
Prenups are extremely customizable and can place limits on nearly all assets in a marriage. This includes property acquired before marriage, spousal support, death benefits, and debt. The Huffington Post even reported on strange prenup demands that have included a maximum weight clause, a mandated number of home-cooked meals per week, and a no smoking in the house rule. However, in most states, including Georgia, prenups cannot address issues of child custody or child support.
The Financial Side of Prenups
A prenup works to protect you. It protects your family’s wealth, your well-being, and the financial security of your children in the event of a divorce. You have every right to safeguard your assets, inheritance, pension, and retirement.
Prenups can also be a financial savior for a spouse if the other spouse is bringing in any type of debt from credit cards, college or child support. A spouse shouldn’t have to feel burdened by another’s major financial obligations that the spouse brought into the marriage or even acquired during the marriage.
The Emotional Benefits of Prenups
Discussing the uncomfortable, difficult situation of divorce when you’re happy allows the marriage to begin in an open, honest way and will help curb future arguments about dividing assets that are fueled by anger. It’s also widely acknowledged that divorces are easier emotionally when there aren’t debates about splitting finances.
Terry Savage, coauthor “The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, Or Moving On!” told Business Insider, “The point is to discuss and plan now, while you are most in love and most in tune with each other,” Savage says, “not later, when you need to argue it out, and these become power issues as much as financial or social issues.”
You’re not alone in wanting to request a prenup as 73 percent of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer members reported an increase in prenup agreements over the past five years. More than half of the lawyers have noticed an increase in women requesting a prenup and 36 percent reported pensions and retirement benefits are being more frequently covered. If you’re worried about changing your mind with respect to any provisions in the prenup, rest assured that prenups can be amended after the wedding through a postnup.
Don’t let stereotypes or beliefs you’re setting yourself up for marriage failure keep you from making a responsible financial decision. Before saying “I do,” you need to sit down with a family lawyer and safeguard your wealth in case of the dissolution of your marriage.